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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Hampshire Group 2 2021

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Keeper’s unbeaten 91 drives Hampshire reply after Somerset strike early

Hampshire 285 for 7 (McManus 91*, Northeast 67) trail Somerset 360 by 75 runs

Such are the privations of the Covid pandemic that Tractor Driver, Somerset’s most famous and voluble fan, has temporarily been banished from his traditional stamping ground on Gimblett Hill. So it was that his plaintive cry for Somerset to deliver wickets with the second new ball came from an unlikely vantage spot behind the Ondaatje Alcohol Free Stand, where presumably ‘Big T’, as his t-shirt identified him, was particularly careful not to breathe the contents of his can of cider on those less inclined towards alcoholic sustenance.

Tractor’s imploring did not last long, not because Somerset answered his call – one wicket was the sum of their response – but perhaps because it was a gloriously mellow summer’s evening, or perhaps because Lewis McManus had worn him down as much as the Somerset attack.

David Foot, one of county cricket’s most romantic and empathetic writers, died last week at his Bristol home, at 92, and, for all his West Country affinity, he would have admired the manner in which McManus’ workmanlike innings evened the balance and guaranteed two further pay days ahead.

After surviving an early short-pitched examination by Marchant de Lange, this was a shrewdly-assembled affair, built around careful drives and enlivened by an occasional reverse-sweep. He finished unbeaten on 91 from 160 balls, Hampshire 75 behind on 285 for 7 and is unnervingly in range of a second first-class hundred to add to the one he made after taking over the gloves from Adam Wheater five years ago.



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England v NZ 2021 – Stuart Broad on soft signal

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England seamer says current system puts on-field umpires in “really difficult situation”

Stuart Broad has called for the ICC to “do away with” the soft signal following a controversial moment on the second day of the LV= Insurance Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston.

Broad was convinced that Devon Conway had been caught at slip by Zak Crawley when the batter had 22. But the on-field umpires were unsure and referred the decision to the TV umpire, Michael Gough, with a soft signal of not out. Gough subsequently confirmed that on-field decision despite replays suggesting Crawley had his fingers under the ball. Conway went on to make 80 and help New Zealand build a strong position in the game.





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Ebony Rainford-Brent becomes an MBE for services to cricket and charity

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England player-turned commentator honoured in Queen’s Birthday Honours list

England cricketer-turned commentator Ebony Rainford-Brent has become an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to cricket and charity.

Rainford-Brent was recognised for her work with the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme. The organisation was founded in January 2020 to engage young people from African and Caribbean heritage in cricket following a decline in the number of Black British professional players.

She also spoke powerfully of her own experiences of racism alongside Michael Holding in a programme aired during Sky Sports’ coverage of the first day of the first Test between England and West Indies last summer.

“You never imagine the day you hit your first ball that you’ll get this sort of recognition,” Rainford-Brent told Sky Sports, with whom she is commentating on the ongoing second Test between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston.

“It’s been an incredible year. Everything from working on the ACE Programme, my broadcasting career and the feature with Michael Holding, which shows the direction of travel. I’m really honoured and hope to continue to use my platform for good.”

Rainford-Brent said she turned off her social media in anticipation of a backlash against the video on racism in cricket and society with Holding. But she described the positive response to the piece as “mind-blowing”.

“It showed me that the world is ready to talk about these sorts of issues,” she told Sky.

In addition to her commentary work for Sky and the BBC, Rainford-Brent is chair of the ACE Programme set up by her club, Surrey. The initiative has been awarded a £540,000 grant from Sport England and has expanded to work with communities in London, Birmingham and Bristol. She is also a trustee of the Chance To Shine charity.

Rainford-Brent, 37, played 22 ODIs and seven T20Is between 2001 and 2010. She was part of the England side that retained the Ashes and won the World Cup and World T20 in 2008-09.



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As it happened – England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day

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All the updates, news and stats from day three of the second Test at Edgbaston



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